The Best Way to Pull Up Carpeting


Heavy traffic causes a lot of wear and tear to carpets. When vacuuming and deep cleaning no longer restores it to a bright and clean state, it's time to replace your carpet. If you've never pulling up carpeting before, you might be tempted to hire someone to do it for you, but there are steps that will make the job a lot easier without spending anything.

Start at One Corner

  • Move all furniture and other items off the carpet, then vacuum; ventilate the room. Wear heavy duty work gloves. Wear a face mask and goggles if the carpet is very dusty. Have a utility knife nearby. It is much easier to pull up a carpet from a corner instead of a side. Pull the carpet over enough to fold and hold in place.

Cutting the Carpet

  • Unless you have help, you don't need to remove the carpet in one piece. Carpeting may have nails, tacks, staples or glue; use the proper tools to help pry the carpet from the floor. When a section of the carpet is folded over, use the utility knife to cut it into smaller pieces. Cut the carpet into easy-to-handle squares or rectangles. Cut through the carpet's underside starting at one edge, and cut down, then across to remove a section of the carpet.

    Make sure that your blade is deep into and passing through the carpet layers as you pull the utility knife to make the cut. Carpet backing and fibers may be very thick, so apply pressure as you pull the blade. While your strokes with the utility knife have to be swift to cut through the carpet with less effort, cut very short distances at a time to prevent injury.

    Only cut the upper level of the folded carpet. Do not make these cuts while the carpet is laying flat on the floor to avoid damaging either the floor underneath or the utility knife's blade.


  • Continue to cut the carpet into sections until you're done or you may dispose of the carpet as you cut one section at a time.

    Tightly roll up a piece of carpet, then use rope, string, twine or tape to secure the carpet piece. Continue to roll up the other pieces until all of the carpet is ready for disposal. Another advantage of cutting the carpet into small sections is that the regular garbage pick-up may take them with the rest of the garbage. Smaller sections are easier to carry to the curb, so if you have to pull up your carpeting by yourself, you can eventually get the job done.

    Once the old carpet is removed, wash your floors to remove the dirt residues left from the old carpet. Check your floors for any damaged areas that may need to be repaired prior to laying a new carpet. If you have attractive hardwood floors, consider restoring them and accenting them with an area rug.

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